Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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Sizzler Restaurant/ Excel Corporation Beef and Cross Contamination 2000

Persons who ate at the Layton and Mayfair Sizzler Restaurants, in Wisconsin, between July 15 and 19 developed E.coli O157:H7. Sixty-two of the laboratory-confirmed cases were found to be genetically indistinguishable, proving that all of the cases had a common source. Moreover, an identical strain of E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from samples of raw chunky taco meat and sirloin tri-tips found at the Layton restaurant. This meat was manufactured by the Excel Corporation (a subsidiary of Cargill), and then re-manufactured by the local Sizzler franchisee according to procedures defined by Sizzler USA. The Wisconsin Department of Health concluded that the outbreak was caused when employees cross-contaminated fresh watermelon with raw meat products, “and the raw sirloin tri-tips were the source of the E. coli O157:H7 in this outbreak.” The Department of Health further concluded that the layout of the facility and the practices of personnel may have contributed to this outbreak. The arrangement of a meat processing area (the grinding area) in close proximity to ready-to-eat food preparation areas increased the likelihood of cross-contamination. Additional restaurants in Wisconsin had received the same beef, but no illnesses was associated with these restaurants.

  • Outbreak began:
  • July 2000
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • N/A
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • Beef, Beef Tri Tip Fruit, Watermelon
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • Unknown
  • Location(s):
  • Restaurant
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • Unknown
  • Total ill:
  • 736
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 64
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 551
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 122
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 23
  • Any Deaths:
  • Yes
  • Number Dead:
  • 1

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